Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: Nearly 100 alleged pirates surrendered to police at a formal ceremony in southeastern Bangladesh on Saturday, vowing to quit a life of ocean larceny for a quieter one ashore.
Officials said the 96 pirates also handed in some 155 home-made guns, 300 shotgun rounds and machinery for making weapons and ammunition at Maheshkhali town a ceremony watched by thousands of locals.
"We gave them 50,000 taka ($590; Dh2,166) each as part of the rehabilitation deal to start a new life," local police chief Masud Hossain said.
The pirates have been blamed for a reign of terror in the waters off the southeastern coast, and accused of murders, rape, abductions, hijackings and theft, one police official said.
They were not granted amnesty for their offences, but their surrender will be considered favourably in any trial, he added.
The pirates said they were tired of living on the run and wanted to try a quieter life.
"I hope you will never return to the old profession and memorise the oath you took today," home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told the pirates.
"God willing, things will get better," said Mohammad Ishaq, a fisherman who watched the surrender programme.
"They frequently kidnapped us, often took away our catch and beat us for no reason."